Since it’s winter break and I’m making a point to truly sit back and reflect on ways to ensure that I can maintain a healthy diet even when times get really tough (as they did last semester and as they will, invariably, next semester), I thought I’d share some of the ways I’ve been planning meals to save time (and money!):
- Find recipes that are easy, cheap, delicious and easy to spice up. Make a batch of one or two of your fave recipes on Sunday night and eat them throughout the week. I always change up recipes by adding different spices, a different type of bean, salsas, turning it into a soup, eating it with hearty whole grain bread, adding hot sauce, etc.
- Make sure your pantry and fridge are stocked with the staples, like beans, veggie broth, vegetables & fruits, non-dairy milk and …
Canned organic tomatoes. If you’re weary about BPA from cans, try Eden’s new amber glass jarred tomatoes
- Get creative!
Some of my favorite things to make from these staples include:
I love to make lentil bolognese, which only requires a few ingredients (& a bit of chopping). It has 85.83 calories, 0.95g fat, 5.53 g fiber, 4.44g protein per 1/2 cup serving.
I also love to have a batch of brown rice (made without oil) ready as a blank palette. Per 1 cup cooked, brown rice has 216 calories, 2g fat, 10mg sodium, 45g carbs, 4g fiber, 1g sugars, 5g protein. I like to eat 1/2 cup cooked brown rice with steamed veggies, in stir frys, with tofu or Italian Tofurkey sausage with veggies or edamame (pictured below).
I love to simply saute chickpeas with a tablespoon of hoison sauce and throw into tortillas with spinach. A half cup of cooked garbanzo beans has 143 calories, 1.3g fat, 359mg sodium, 27.1g carbs, 5.3g fiber, 5.9g protein.
Recipe for Tofu “Taco Meat”
- One package organic firm tofu, drained
- One 14.5-oz can organic diced tomatoes (I like to use fire roasted)
- Two teaspoons vegan taco seasoning (from Trader Joe’s)
- Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray, heat on medium heat, saute tofu with all ingredients while breaking up into crumbles. Cook for about 10 minutes, until tofu and tomatoes absorb some of the extra water.
- Nutritional information per 1/2 cup serving (7 total): 65.35 calories, 2.85g fat, 237mg, 1.36g fiber, 6.21g protein
- Serve in corn tortillas with lettuce, salsa (cilantro, diced jicama, guacamole, etc.!)
Local Events Coming Up
- Vegan Cooking with Chef Joni Newman, author of The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions, at Whole Foods Market in Long Beach this Thursday the 13th, 6 – 8:30 pm. Free! See here.
- The Vegan Girl’s Guide to Life book signing with Melisser Elliot at Doomie’s Home Cookin’ in Los Angeles, this Friday the 14th, from 7-9 pm. [via Quarry Girl]
Do you plan your meals for the week or take it day by day? What are your fridge and pantry staples?
The Cranky One